Easy Greek Orzo Salad
How would you rate this orzo salad?
Orzo pasta is often found in Greek meals. It can be served warm in more hearty dishes or cold in delicious salads. Orzo is a small, flat pasta that resembles barley and in fact means barley in Italian. This salad has a delicious flavor, is easy to make and will keep your family or guests asking for more.
How to Roast Garlic
Roasting garlic is a very simple task. Preheat your oven to about 300 degrees F. Wrap the entire bulb of garlic in aluminum foil and place in the oven for about 30 minutes. This amount of time will leave some firmness to the garlic so that it can be sliced. If you are roasted the garlic for a spread, leave it in for 20-30 minutes longer.
One of the advantages to using roasted garlic in this salad is that it has a much sweeter flavor. If someone bites into a piece of garlic while eating this salad, he won't be surprised by the strong flavor that raw garlic leaves behind.
Depending on your tastes, here are some additional ideas to add to this salad.
- artichoke hearts
- green onion
- black olives instead of Kalamata olives
Ingredients for Greek Orzo Salad
- 4 cups cooked orzo
- 1/2 cup chopped peppers-I used yellow and orange but you can use what you like.
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups sliced (chiffonade) raw spinach leaves
- 1/2 (or more if desired) cubed Feta cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped Kalamata (Greek) olives
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 4 cloves roasted garlic
- 1/2 cup dressing (see recipe)
Directions for Greek Orzo Pasta Salad
- Cook the orzo according to the package directions, rinse with cold water and set aside in a bowl.
- Chop all of the vegetables, tomatoes, olives, and cheese and add to the orzo.
- Add the sliced garlic and toasted pine nuts.
- Finally toss in the sliced spinach and mix the dressing and keep cold until ready to serve. Mix again just before serving if you are preparing this ahead of time.
Easy Vinaigrette Dressing
- 3 cloves of the roasted garlic (you can also use shallots)
- 3 Tablespoons of lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons of white wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Finely dice the garlic and combine with the vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to combine.
- Wisk in the olive oil until it emulsifies.
- Gently pour over the salad and mix.
What are pine nuts?
Pine nuts are the seeds that are found in pine trees. When shelled, they are long and white in color. The shape resembles a popcorn kernel, only longer. They can be eaten raw or toasted. When toasted, they have a nutty flavor and it will add a crunch to your dish. Pine nuts are delicious in salads, pasta, and meat dishes.
Serving Greek Orzo Salad
This wonderful summer salad is perfect paired with grilled fish or chicken dish. It would also be a great dish to bring for a summer potluck barbecue or family gathering. I hope that you enjoy this tasty summer salad!